• Lawrence Steakhouse Homemade Chili Recipe

    If you are past the half century mark and from Comanche, Texas, you will remember Lawrence Steak House that stood where today would be the west end of Brookshire’s Grocery parking lot…right near the pump that I use today to buy my gas. My Aunt Vesta’s big old house used to stand directly across the street to the west of the steak house at 500 West Central Street.

    Lawrence Steakhouse was is an icon in Comanche County History. Today we served his vintage recipe!

    Lawrence Steakhouse was is an icon in Comanche County History. Today we served his vintage recipe!

    I don’t remember ever eating Mr. Lawrence’s chili, but Missy Jones says that it is the “best chili ever” and today, about 150 people agreed with her when the Comanche Historical Museum board members served that very chili to its guests! If you happen to have a photo of the old steakhouse, I would love to see it.


    4 Pounds Chili Meat
    2 Tablespoons Paprika
    1 Onion
    4 Tablespoons Chili Powder
    2 Teaspoons Salt
    1 Teaspoon Comino Seeds, roasted
    Cumin Powder


    1. Brown meat and onion, being careful not to get the meat too dark.

    2. Add water and seasonings.

    3. Simmer, stirring often.

    About Fredda Jones

    Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for texansunited.com and marketing small-town Texas.
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    2 Responses to Lawrence Steakhouse Homemade Chili Recipe

    1. Missy Jones says:

      Fredda, my dear sister, Geneva Cox Mercer, included this recipe in her cookbook “Recipes and Memories from the Heart”. She made cassette tapes about her family memories, from childhood to marriage and having children, James, Philip and Clifford. She talked about Lawrence Steak house. This was probably the early 1950’s. Geneva and Alton did have electricity in their country home, but had not bought a freezer for their home use. Alton would have a beef killed, and Mr. lawrence would rent out freezer boxes to families.He would package up the meat and place it in the freezer box that they had rented. Geneva and Alton would pack shelled and snapped blackeyed peas, fresh corn cut off of the cob; yes and scraped to get all of that milky goodness , and pack up fresh peaches, in plastic bags to go into the freezer box. Then, they and other families would make a stop at the locker plant, and Mr. Lawrence would help them load up the packages they wanted to take home. Just like a trip to the grocery, but it was your own produce that you would take home. And, those blackeyed peas, we would place the washed blackeyed peas in the plastic bag, cover them with water, and tie the bag up ready to take to the locker box. I guarantee you that those peas would taste just like they were picked the day before. Other items were placed in the locker box, also.

    2. Missy Jones says:

      Fredda, one more comment on Lawrence Steak House. Our dear friend, the late Edward Isham wrote two seperate articles about his memories of growing up in Comanche. One, he talked about Lawrence Steak House. He mentioned the cedar counters and booths, etc. he said that he thought a Mr. Walker from Gusine did the building of these cedar items. Yes, I think that is right. that was “Red Walker”. I remember going into the steak house, that beautiful cedar tables, chairs and counters. Monselle O’Brien was a dear friend to everybody in Comanche, and was an excellent artist. His beautiful paintings hung all around the walls of the steak house. Oh, to go back just one time. Missy Jones, Comanche.

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